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March 26, 2019

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry



My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Fiction
2015 Simon & Schuster Audio
Read by Joan Walker
Finished on March 19, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

It's been almost four years since I read A Man Called Ove (reviewed here), which I adored and will read again. I wasn't as enamored of Backman's novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, so I was somewhat hesitant to try this novel. It took me several chapters (and I almost gave up) before I finally became engrossed in Elsa's story, but once hooked, I found every opportunity to continue listening, even going out of my way to take longer walks in order to hear one more chapter. I'm so glad I didn't quit, because this turned out to be quite a gem! And, I'm glad to have a copy of the book in print, so I can read it again. Now that I know the story, I think reading the print edition will be less of a challenge. It all felt so confusing at the beginning, but once the pieces fell together, it all made sense. 

Final Thoughts:

I wiped away my tears as I listened to the final chapters, remembering a similar feeling when I completed the audio book of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (reviewed here). Backman's poignant tale and lovable characters (particularly, Elsa, who is wise beyond her years) will remain with me for years to come. I look forward to reading his more recent books; next up, Britt-Marie Was Here.

10 comments:

  1. I liked the first few books the best. This one was good, just not a favorite.

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    1. Diane, I'm eager to try more of his books. I have Beartown on my shelf, but want to read Britt-Marie first.

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  2. I've loved every book of his I've read except for Us Against You, which I DNF.

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    1. Vicki, I'm so glad to hear this! I love having a backlist to look forward to. I'll keep Us Against You for the very last, though.

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  3. I've only read A Man Called Ove and, like you, I thought it was wonderful. I'm glad to know this is good as well.

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    1. Kathy, this one is very good on audio. Just be patient. It's a little slow to start, but it's so worth the effort.

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  4. I loved, loved, loved A Man Called Ove, but I gave up on this one. Perhaps I need to give it another chance. I just finished Britt-Marie Was Here and almost quit after the first couple of chapters, but kept going. I'd say it was good, but not great. I found myself skimming over parts because I don't care much about soccer, and there's a LOT about soccer. Backman is definitely into quirky characters!

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    1. Laurel, it's unfortunate that the first third of this book is less than compelling because I think many readers gave up on it (as I would have, if I had read the print copy) before it got really good. I'll keep your comment in mind when I start in on Britt-Marie Was Here. I remember hearing that there are a lot of soccer details, which I'm not terribly interested in either. Maybe I'll have to listen to that one, as well.

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  5. I still haven't read any of his books but oh boy did I love the film of A Man Called Ove. It was so good even if I was crying at the end. There are some books for me that just don't work as audiobooks. For the most part I prefer a very linear story-telling and not a lot of jumping back and forth in time.

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    1. Iliana, A Man Called Ove was a good movie, but the book was even better. I'm anxious to read more by Backman.

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